Web services as a business
I am disappointed that Google did not keep supporting their SOAP based search APIs. Google seems to favor too strongly advertising revenue over other revenue streams like:
Commercial support for a search API - pre-pay per a large number of search requests
Subscription CDR or DVD-R backups of a user's data for all Google services; for example: for a fee, receive a backup in the mail every 3 months: I would consider $50 to $75 (depending on if a CDR or DVD-R is required) dollars per year to be reasonable and with the number of people using GMail, Google Docs, Calendar, Reader, etc., this might be a good revenue stream
In any case, I would like to see more success stories for large and small companies commercially supporting web services.
I hope to have a major version update of my KBtextmaster natural language processing (NLP) toolkit released in the next 4 months (or so). I am planning on providing a public web interface so customers can "try before they buy". I am likely to provide a public REST based web services interface also - easy since the product includes REST and SOAP support. I have thought a lot about selling web services that extract semantic information from news stories, but it is likely better to just sell customers KBtextmaster and help them customize it for their specific needs.